Accidents happen for all types of reasons, and even though no one expects to be involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, the consequences of those accidents can be devastating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,921 people died in truck accidents in the United States in 2012. Due to the extensive federal laws in place to regulate the commercial trucking industry, investigative practices and procedures are important and complex parts of ensuring that the victim or the victim’s family will receive proper compensation after a truck accident.
Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has years of experience in helping injured victims and their families through the complex process of accident investigation in North Carolina and South Carolina. He can take some of the worry out of the difficult process of obtaining compensation for injuries incurred in a truck-related accident.
Truck Accident Reporting and Investigation
The motor carrier industry is highly regulated in order to ensure safety and prevent accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes regulations that apply to employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles that carry certain property or passengers across state lines. These regulations are minimum standards for commercial vehicles and motor carriers cannot operate trucks unless they meet the standards that included the following:
- Size and weight restrictions
- Height and width limits
- Drug and alcohol testing procedures
- Commercial driving standards
- Hours of service rules
- Equipment and safety regulations
- Inspection and maintenance requirements
Most truck accidents occur because someone fails to follow the safety controls and processes. Failures to properly train drivers and follow safety regulations are among the main causes of truck accidents. A prompt investigation is critical in order to ensure as much information is available as possible. The more information gathered from an investigation, the more likely the cause of the truck accident will be discovered.
In a truck accident investigation, the first step requires collecting all of the information from the accident, including photographs and documentation. The driver’s accident report, police reports, insurance claim reports, witnesses’ statements, and photographs of the scene are all vitally important in determining the cause of a truck accident.
An accident investigator or a trucking expert can work to determine what caused the trucking accident by examining the post-accident photographs and documentation. In many cases involving serious trucking accidents, the Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration may step in and inspect the tractor and trailer to decide if the truck should be taken out of service. The safety inspector’s purpose is not to understand the cause of the accident.
Trucking companies have to adhere to strict guidelines imposed by state and federal regulations, and therefore it can be a difficult and tedious process to prove that the trucking company violated the safety procedures intended to protect other motorists on the road.
Consult an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Being involved in a truck accident can be devastating, and so The Tatum Law Firm is committed to serving clients involved in these accidents in North Carolina and South Carolina. Our experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney, Brian Steed Tatum, will carefully pursue the truck accident investigation process in order to diligently pursue the claim and ensure that the victim receives the compensation he or she deserves. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, please contact our office for assistance at (704) 307-4350 or online for a free case evaluation.